Former professional MMA fighter and legend, Travis Fulton, was found dead on the morning of July 10 at around 4 AM in his prison cell in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Fulton who was considered one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time was incarcerated on February 17, 2021, for possession of child pornography and other similar charges, under Federal Law.
Who was Travis Fulton?
Travis Fulton, born on May 29, 1977, in Waterloo, Iowa, US, was a professional mixed martial artist. He fought in over 300 professional fights in his career since he made his debut back in 1996, a number higher than any other MMA fighter in history. He became a world heavyweight champion in a tournament held in Brazil in 1998. He had also participated in two UFC fights, losing one and winning his second. Fulton had also won the International Fighting Championships (IFC) world championship 3 times. For the last decade, he had been ranked the No. 1 heavyweight fighter in the state of Iowa.
Travis Fulton was in jail since February 19, 2021, when he was arrested for possession of child pornography and 2 other related charges, by the U.S. Marshall Service. He was put into custody in the Lin Country Correctional Center where he was being held while his case proceeded. While he was arrested, Fulton was already awaiting charges in a separate domestic abuse case, in which he allegedly attacked and punched a woman on the head, making her hospitalized.
It was reported that he broke the jaw of the victim and threatened to kill her if she pressed charges. He later tried to meet the victim and/or her family at a casino, apparently to settle things out of the court or possibly to threaten them, but since the case had already been filed, he and the victim party were both charged with contempt.
As per the records of the court, he was indicted on charges that he enticed an underaged girl to engage in sexual behaviors and that he took photographs of the same for several years. After his arrest, in March 2021, another victim who was also under 18 years of age surfaced and was added to the exploitation charges. Besides that, Travis Fulton was also charged with receiving and storing child pornography that was seized from his home. It was revealed that the acts of felonies were performed multiple times between June 2013 to April 2020.
Although the location of the crime has not been revealed, it was mentioned in court records that it fell under the jurisdiction of the U.S Attorney’s Northern District of Iowa.
Pleading Guilty – Partially
As Travis Fulton was being held in the Linn County Correctional Center until his case was given a verdict, he had filed a notice to plead guilty to two of the four charges slapped on him including the assault. In the application he had filed, he admitted to having enticed underage girls to perform sexual acts with each other and having filmed it for a span of almost 7 years. He also admitted to possessing videos and pictures of prepubescent children who had not attained 12 years of age, engaged in sexually explicit activities.
Upon receiving his application for a guilty plea, a federal judge had changed the date of the trial and a guilty plea hearing for him was arranged for July 23, 2021. Travis Fulton was set to face up to 70 years in prison for the charges he faced, however, he hoped to get a decrease on that number by pleading guilty.
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Death by Suicide
After less than a day of his plea application, Travis Fulton was found hanging by the neck in his prison cell in the morning of July 10, 2021, at around 4 AM, by a prison guard during a routine early morning check. Upon discovering, the wardens immediately tried to resuscitate Fulton and gave him CPR, seeing no signs of recovery, he was rushed to the Mercy Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 5 in the morning, the Linn County Sheriff’s office declared issuing a statement.
Travis Fulton holds the record for the highest number of MMA appearances by any player. After making his debut in 1996, he fought over 300 fights, out of which, he won 257, lost 55, and 10 were without a definitive outcome. He last entered the ring in 2019, when he defeated Shannon Ritch, before hanging up his gloves. Travis Fulton, 44, was nicknamed “The Ironman” for his impeccable winning streaks and long-running stats.
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